Stuck in the middle: how the value of data has changed HR

HR does not have to feel like a balancing act. Meet the needs of the company and fulfill your responsibility to your employees at the same time.

Chess board with the opposing kings facing one another in the middle of the board: representing the situation HR is in

(Hat tip to JB Kilpatrick for the photo)

HR has always taken care of employees and managed their personal and professional information. But an HR role is no longer viewed as purely administrative. The value of HR information has changed the way companies view their human resources department.

The business value of HR data

Employee information has become a valuable tool. Management and business owners discovered that employee data can be used in the same way customer or product data is-to grow the business.

This attention to employee data comes from a proven link between a company’s employees and the success of the business. For example, disengaged employees cost a company money. But a company with engaged employees experiences:

  • Increased productivity
  • Improved employee retention
  • More engaged customers
  • Creativity and development
  • Reduced errors

Beyond employee engagement, companies are using HR information to predict the best way to manage employees. They want to know what type of employees have brought success to the company, how pay affects productivity or how many hours a week a specific role requires.

The main goal of using HR data is to make calculated decisions that will contribute to the success of the business.  Business owners want to draw conclusions based on solid evidence of what works for the company and what will drive growth.

So much information, so little time

Because HR information means growth and success for the company, high expectations are placed on the HR department to provide this data. But the information your boss uses to draw conclusions and make decisions isn’t always the same information that helps you meet the needs of employees.

The changing value of HR information hasn’t done away with the basic functions of your role, but instead added to them. This mean you have to collect and manage more data and have it readily available for when employees have questions or management demands.

With requests coming from both sides, it’s a difficult balance to strike between taking care of employees and keeping your boss happy.

Meeting in the middle

Turning information into understandable and quantified data for management takes time, but companies are discovering that the cloud provides a way to easily meet the rising demand for information in four key ways:

1. Collect. Self-service HR makes it possible for employees to update their personal information as changes occur. You can also update and store the data that helps the company. This way, a lot of data doesn’t feel like a lot of extra work when a request is made.

2. Combine. Different questions arise from management. This means different sets of data. Without the cloud, you could spend hours collecting and compiling information from different locations. Cloud software allows you to generate reports based on a specific question at the click of a button, since everything is in one place.

3. Release. Specific data can be exported into a spreadsheet and sent to management, meaning you can protect the personal information of your employees while supplying the numbers.

4. Analyse. When the information is readily available and easily accessible, it can be quickly analysed. Management can make educated decisions on what’s best for the company and solutions to problems can be implemented faster.

Storing employee information in the cloud doesn’t only benefit management and the decisions they make. Improved access to employee information will also help you as your role evolves.

The convenience the cloud and HR self-service leaves you time to meet the needs of employees and make sure they know HR is there to take care of them.

The key to success

A role in human resources has always meant that you are invested in the people that make up the company and that doesn’t have to change. Take advantage of the cloud to ensure you are never caught in the middle between what the company needs and the duty of care you owe your employees.

Understand that you are supplying the information that will drive the company’s success and employees do rely on the success of the company. Likewise, the company relies on employees who are engaged and invested in that success.

Your information is the link that makes both sides a success.

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